Memory Specifications

We decided to utilize a 1Gb (2x512MB) memory configuration as it is probably one of the widely used setups today. Our choice of memory was more difficult as we had an abundance of modules available due to our recent upgrade of many systems to 2GB configurations. In the end we tested several different modules and came to the conclusion that almost all of it generated the same results on this board. Turning to the "scientific method", we flipped a coin a couple of times, tossed darts at the manufacturer's packages, strapped on a blindfold, and then picked a couple of modules from the pile.

Our DDR memory is from Patriot Memory and it previously resided in one of our test systems for several weeks. The memory features low latencies at DDR-400 (PC3200) while costing around $100 for a 1GB kit.

Patriot PDC1G3200LLK Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size 512MB
Total Memory 1 GB
Rated Timings 2-3-2-5 1T at DDR-400
Rated Voltage 2.6V

Additional Information on these very popular DIMMs is available at the Patriot website. We have memory that offers additional headroom for overclocking and also memory that was representative of PC3200 modules shipped a couple of years ago with 2.5 CAS ratings. However, we felt like this memory is a good blend of performance and pricing for our testing.

Our DDR2 memory is from Transcend and was utilized in some extensive HTPC testing for our upcoming Intel DHCAT article. The memory features decent latencies at DDR2-667 but was able to perform at much lower latencies in our testing while costing around $70 for a 1GB kit. We highly recommend this memory for users needing an inexpensive yet great performing memory in their budget or mid-range systems.

Transcend JetRam Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size 512MB
Total Memory 1 GB
Rated Timings 5-5-5-12 at DDR2-667
Rated Voltage 1.8V

Transcend has additional specifications for this memory listed here. We also had 512MB memory modules that offered much lower latencies, but these cost the same as current 2GB value kits based on Elpida memory. Our memory choice is representative of speeds and latencies shipped in OEM systems that have been widely available the past couple of years for Intel users.

Our ASRock motherboard offers the following options for each memory speed. Although DDR-266 is fully supported we will not be testing at this memory speed. The current BIOS offers a wide array of memory speed settings but is very limited in voltage options with low, normal, and high being the only choices.

ASRock 775Dual-VSTA
Auto DDR2-533 DDR2-667 DDR-266 DDR-333 DDR-400
FSB 1066 X X X X X X
FSB 800 X X X X X X
FSB 533 X X X X X X

We have tested the board with our Pentium D 805 and 950 processors to ensure proper FSB support at 533 and 800. We did not find any anomalies during testing with our processors that also included a Core 2 Extreme X6800.

Index System Configuration


View All Comments

  • shambf00 - Monday, December 4, 2006 - link

    Gary, please, how were you able to change the memory ratio?

    I have DDR 400mhz on this motherboard with the E6300, however, the motherboard sees it as DDR 333mhz even after I set the speed manually.

    Can you (or anyone else who knows about this) tell me where to change the memory ratio so my ram can run at it's normal speed?


  • lumbergeek - Friday, February 9, 2007 - link

    The only way I was able to change the memory ratio (this board with E6300, 2GB Mushkin low-latency DDR400 and an AGP ATI 1650pro) was to play around with the manual setting for RAM and FSB - the board seems to select the multiplier on it's own. If anyone knows how to adjust it manually, I'd love to know about it myself! Reply
  • tomppi - Thursday, August 24, 2006 - link

    ..have had some 2-3-2-6-1 kingston memory for 2 years now (KHX3200AK2_1G)
    used to be on a ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe. only did 2.5-3-3-12-1
    now with the asrockdual-vsta i can't keep it stable unless i run at ~3-3-3-12-2 (400mhz)

    why can't I even come close to the speeds shown in this article :(
  • GoatMonkey - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    I have a possibly stupid question. Will this board work with only one stick of memory or do they need to be added in pairs. I have a single 1GB DDR400 stick in my Athlon XP3200 that would be nice to be able to use, but if I have to buy new memory anyway I might as well get the DDR2. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    No Question is Stupid. :)

    However, sometimes my answers might appear that way. ;-)

    The board works fine with a single stick of memory but you will be regulated to single channel operation. This places a 3%~7% performance penalty on most applications although you will need benchmarks to tell the difference in most cases.
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    Perhaps it might be worthwhile to show performance numbers for the single-channel situation in one of the upcoming articles? I'm sure many people are in similar situations. My 754 machine just has a single 1Gb DDR400 stick as well, so if I were to consider a value Core 2 cpu & board combo (of the sort Fry's may offer in the coming months) I might want to continue using that memory if it will work and not completely cripple the performance.
  • veryevilmike - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link

    Is the asrock 775-HDTV rev2 (using the ati xpress200 chipset) one of the budget boards on the review list? It is limited to single channel but was contemplating this as a stopgap for a few months until rd600 & co arrive, when the board would become a cheap htpc. its also one of the only uATX conroe boards available.

    All up, congrats on doing such a useful 'realistic' review early on in the piece - makes a nice change from all the super-expensive stuff that is not in the picture for 99% of people.
  • GoatMonkey - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    Sounds good to me. I could go with that for a while and later upgrade to the DDR2 and new video card, and a better motherboard at some point after that. An e6600 should be available for around $350 (one of these days anyway), and then this board for under $75 or so. Roughly $400 to $425 for a significant upgrade and an easy path for other components sounds good to me.

  • Sunrise089 - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    Now after the most obvious subject line of all time, here's what I'm thinking:

    I continue to be impressed with Conroe's performance, but grow more and more dissapointed with Conroe's performance scaled to price. With s939 basically any price paid could get you very near FX-57 speeds. Cheap DFI Infinity board + Cheap Opteron 144 or a lucky 3000+ = 2.6+ghz on air with a good cooler. An FX-57 might hit 3.0ghz on air if you were very lucky.

    Conroe doesn't seem to work that way. Sure the top 2 or 3 processors perform the same, give or take, but the lower cache processors loose a lot of performance (much more than the above mentioed Athlons). Then, getting a cheaper motherboard really lowers maximum overclock. Then high-performance memory costs a lot more, and probably adds more performance as well. Finally really cheap parts like this totally cripple performance.

    I think as more people come to relize this we will see a reality check from the community, where many on the high end will end up with awesome Conroe systems, but many others will realize with their budgets a nicely upgraded s939 X2 system with their existing servicable DDR memory and a newly discounted X1900XT will be a better overall platform dollar for dollar. This user is certainly beginning to lean that way. And heck, by the time I have to upgrade for a second time Conroe should be available with a 1066mhz FSB anyways.
  • Paladin165 - Wednesday, August 9, 2006 - link

    "the lower cache processors loose a lot of performance"

    Wheres your evidence for this? Hasn't it been established that the performance hit is around 3% on average? (">

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